AP’s News Registry: Controversial content monitoring/distribution system to launch July 14
On April 29, the Associated Press announced several new digital news initiatives—including that its controversial News Registry system will launch July 14. When AP first announced its News Registry plan last July, it attracted ample concern, skepticism, and scorn…
On April 29, the Associated Press announced several new digital news initiatives—including that its controversial News Registry system will launch July 14.
When AP first announced its News Registry plan last July, it attracted ample concern, skepticism, and scorn…
Critics complained that AP’s plan was heavy handed, confusing, and technically misguided. Supporters said the Registry would simply be good business, and they noted AP’s claims that the Registry is not intended to block fair use. (See this July 2009 CJR post, and read the comments, to get a range of views on the fair use issue.)
The strong backlash was fueled by AP CEO Tom Curley’s July 2009 statement to The New York Times that the Registry would catch and regulate AP content use as minor as a headline and a link to an article: “If someone can build multibillion-dollar businesses out of keywords, we can build multihundred-million businesses out of headlines, and we’re going to do that.”
AP says that “200 member newspapers have become part of the Registry’s beta test. That number is expected to reach 600 by the Registry’s July 14 production launch, when the platform will be opened to additional members and publishers.”
Also, the US Justice Dept. recently decided that the News Registry does not pose antitrust problems.
AP’s latest announcement includes no details of how the News Registry will function. However, last August Poynter’s Megan Taylor offered a good roundup of how AP’s News Registry is supposed to work. It’s based on microformat technology—a powerful semantic web tool that can aid discovery of relevant content, but that is also technologically simple to subvert.
AP is promoting the News Registry as a way for member papers to increase paid online distribution of their content. In the AP release, Curley is quoted as saying, “Every content creator who uses the Registry will be able to set the rights for the use of that content, so that it can be copied legally or used in new products that the industry or others create with proper permission and compensation.”
It’ll be interesting to see what rights the Registry allows for excerpting AP headlines or other content—and whether participating publishers will be free to specify usage rights for their content that are less restrictive than AP’s defaults.
Comments (5) • Permalink • Tell-a-Friend
Tags: business models, technology, ap, controversy, copyright
Itís striking and unfortunate that Amy Gahran relies on five or more links from as far back as last summer, when the APís News Registry was still early in development, to support her dismissal of this key initiative for AP and its members.
Ms. Gahran also quotes only in part from AP’s April 29 announcement about the Registryís launch this coming July.
Quoted in full, the relevant paragraph notes the strong reception for the Registry:
“Development of the Registry was announced last April in San Diego, at APís 2009 annual meeting. Since then, more than 200 member newspapers have become part of the Registryís beta test. That number is expected to reach 600 by the Registryís July 14 production launch, when the platform will be opened to additional members and publishers. AP expects to accommodate all members and publishers who want to enroll by yearís end. The Registry allows publishers to tag and track digital news content, beyond their own websites, to provide a new level of visibility on what content is being used and where.”
The full release is here: http://bit.ly/9NHry3
The News Registry is an important initiative that a growing number of AP member news organizations are embracing.
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press
By Paul Colford, 05/04/10 at 4:55 am
Thanks for your comment, Paul.
Actually, my article does not “dismiss” the AP’s News Registry. It simply notes the background of the controversy surrounding this issue. I did note what both supporters and critics have has to say about it.
As for the age of the links in my story—as far as I’ve been able to tell, there are no more recent details available regarding how the registry is supposed to operate.
And I did note the number of news orgs participating in the beta, and AP’s projections about participation after launch.
I also linked to the AP release, right at the top of my story.
I appreciate that AP has its own perspective on the Registry. I’m sure you can appreciate that there is also a range of views on this subject beyond what AP thinks.
- Amy Gahran
By Amy Gahran, 05/04/10 at 8:21 am
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